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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4337..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

because there can be no photograph, and its non-existence will prove the lie of Mrs Cross's statement.

MR SPEAKER: Order! We will deal with the leave question first.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Assembly requires Mrs Cross to table, by close of business today, the photograph she referred to in question time of the Chief Minister allegedly at Red Hill on 17 January 2003.

Mr Speaker, this is a scurrilous allegation that Mrs Cross has made, made previously and made publicly in relation to me. Over the last year I have been subjected to innumerable questions within this place and I have been subjected to outrageous, defamatory accusations in public, particularly on radio stations and I think perhaps television, in relation to my whereabouts on 17 January 2003.

Mrs Cross and members of the Liberal Party have asserted baldly on radio, and I believe elsewhere, that I was on Red Hill at 8.30, or thereabouts, on 17 January 2003. I was not. It is a lie. It is an outright, scurrilous, defamatory lie. I was not on Red Hill at any time on 17 January 2003; not at any time.

Mrs Cross: Your word against the constituent's.

MR STANHOPE: Not at any time. Anybody who suggests I was is mistaken. Anybody who continues to assert in the face of my adamant, honest statement that I was not impugns my honour and defames me. I was not at any stage on 17 January on Red Hill.

Mrs Cross has put about this defamatory statement over many months, and she has repeated it inside this place today. She did that today in the context of a question that suggested that she had photographic evidence of my presence on Red Hill on 17 January. No such photograph can possibly exist because I was not there, but Mrs Cross insists it does. She asserted it in question time today.

I ask that she table the photograph which she claims shows that I was on Red Hill in the presence of emergency service officials on 17 January. I was not. I would ask her to name those officials and I will gain their statutory declarations in relation to whether or not I was in their presence, and they will most certainly assert that I was not, because I was not. I was elsewhere in Canberra. I was not alone elsewhere in Canberra.

But I refuse, and I have refused-and it was the basis of my refusal in the debate on the motion moved by Mr Pratt yesterday-to have my privacy invaded in this way by this place, that I will submit myself to scurrilous motions demanding to know what I do in my private time and in my private life, where I go and at what times in my private life, whom I am with in my private life in my private time. I will not submit to that under any circumstance. I will not allow my right to my privacy to be trammelled in that way. I simply will not. I will not demean myself in that way, and I will not stand for this scurrilous, outrageous lie that has been perpetrated by Mrs Cross. It is an outrageous-


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